Rostislav Klesla retires from NHL instead of joining Buffalo Sabres

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

A year of injuries and team-swapping led the veteran to exit the league.

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One of the Buffalo Sabres' trade deadline additions will never make his debut, as defenseman Rostislav Klesla has decided to put his NHL career on hold instead of reporting to his new team.

Klesla was traded to Buffalo in a deadline day deal that sent Jaroslav Halak to the Washington Capitals. The 31-year-old defenseman had been traded to Washington just the day before by the Phoenix Coyotes.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Klesla's parting words on Saturday night.

"With all due respect to the Sabres organization, I decided this week not to continue playing hockey this season. It has been a tough year for injury and moving several times to new teams," Klesla said in a statement.

"I will now take some time off and get ready to continue my career in Europe. I would like to thank my fans and all the people that have helped me. I am grateful for the career I have had in the NHL and all the people that I have met along the way who have supported me and my family."

Klesla has played in just 25 games with the Coyotes this season, as the organization has kept him down in the AHL with the Portland Pirates for most of the year. Apparently getting traded twice in one season and jettisoned between the minors and the NHL can take a toll on a person. Who knew?

If this really is the end of Klesla's NHL career, he finishes with 48 goals and 111 assists in 659 career games.

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